A student of coaching

Coaching is not what I imagined it would be. My preconceived idea was that coaching is done one-on-one between a coach and a coachee. The coach leads the coachee down a path of self discovery until the coachee finds his own solutions.

I am discovering that coaching is much more than that. It’s the ability of people in organizations/companies and even schools to pose thoughtful questions with the intent of raising self awareness and responsibility in others. It is the ability to challenge and support others while at the same time holding the other person’s self-esteem very dearly.

Therein lies the paradox of coaching. It is so simple yet so difficult. Fundamentally it’s the ability for us to connect as humans and to really pay attention to another “in the moment”. What makes this difficult – at least for me – is the tendency for the mind to wonder and worse still for biases and judgments to cloud my listening ability.

How do I overcome this? I don’t know yet but I will experiment with the following tips :

1) Don’t fight it, flow with it. When I feel judgmental, I can say to myself “I notice that I am being judgmental. OK, that’s done so let’s put that aside.” I want to acknowledge the feeling and be done with it so that I can move on and focus on the person in front of me.

2) Breathing regularly and deeply. Such a simple technique but it helps to pump oxygen into the brain and improve attention span. I will try this consciously every day.

3) Write as I listen. As a kinesthetic person, I need to write to process and think. I just have to be mindful to still be able to maintain eye contact with the coachee.

4) Enjoy and develop. Few books mention coaching as a fun activity. But I am having fun learning and developing myself in this field. Is it possible to enjoy a coaching session? Maybe it is if I let it be.